The Lowcountry branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI Lowcountry has dedicated itself to improving the lives of those with mental illness and their fami-lies throughout the Lowcountry. We spoke with board member Felicia Vairo and board president Michelle Casey to get their thoughts on the work they do and the challenges they face.
Q: What drew you to working in mental health?
A: My daughter was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 in 2015 at the age of 22. Up to that point she never showed any outward signs of a mental health con-dition. Unbeknownst to me she had been suffering in silence for years. With the help of her doctor, therapist and the proper mix of medication and self care she is living and thriving with her diagnoses. My mission is to help others see that there is hope to live and thrive with whatever your diagnosis is. As a parent it can be a very diffi-cult and confusing time when a child is diagnosed with a mental health condition. If I can offer any advice or encouragement then I feel I am con-tributing and helping to end the stigma associated with mental illness.
- Felicia Vairo, Board Member
Q: Your two employees as well as your entire BOD are all women. How does that impact your ability to reach NAMI Lowcountry’s goals?
A: We do indeed have a female team of BOD and staff for the first time. I am delighted to say that diversity has been one our greatest strengths in NAMI. Our team is all female by chance, not by design. We previously had four men on our board and their terms of ser-vice had expired in 2019. Our newest board members are brimming with fresh ideas, and they just happen to be women. An all- female cast affords us the opportunity for more intimate partnerships during collaboration. Women have a unique way of bonding and easily form sisterhoods. I feel that this will maximize the exchange and development of ideas. I am excited to see what our wonder woman team will bring for 2020.
- Michelle Casey, Board President
Photo taken at the Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island during our Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball
29 Plantation Park Dr. #204, Bluffton, SC | 843.636.3100 | www.namilowcountry.org